Jane Van Ryan
Posted May 20, 2009
...that the United States imports more oil from Canada than any other country? More than two million barrels of oil a day comes from our neighbor to the north, and much of that oil is derived from Canada's abundant oil sands. Technological advances in oil extraction have allowed Canada to become the world's second largest holder of recoverable oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia.
A new report from Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) notes that the pace of oil sands development has far exceeded expectations.
Fifteen years ago, it was believed that oil sands production might exceed one million barrels a day. Now forecasts say production could reach four million barrels a day by 2020, and up to 37 percent of U.S. oil imports could be crude oil derived from oil sands by 2035. CERA's report, "Growth in Canadian Oils Sands: Finding a New Balance," also questions environmental concerns, saying they appear to be overstated. CERA says the "well to wheels" greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands are comparable to other sources of crude oil.
"If oil sands development is maximized, we could potentially double the amount of oil we currently import from Canada--a friendly, reliable neighbor--thereby increasing the nation's energy security," says API President Jack Gerard.
The study's findings are good news for the environment and U.S. consumers. Having a reliable source of crude oil just beyond our northern border is preferable to depending on oil supplies from other regions with less stringent environmental standards.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.